Saturday, March 7, 2009

Reaction Times Predict Longevity

According to a new research study, reaction times are a good predictor of how long a person will live, better than blood pressure, excercise levels, and weight. People with "sluggish" reaction times are 2.6 times as likely to die prematurely. Methodologically speaking, the researchers studied almost 7500 volunteers for over 20 years with subjects reacting to and matching numbers on a computer screen. Taking into account those people who have died, especially those who had heard disease, the researchers found:
... that people’s reaction times are a measure of their intelligence, which in turn is an indicator of their body’s ‘system integrity’ – how well it is wired together.
The authors say there is growing evidence that people with higher IQs tend to live longer and healthier lives.
‘It has been hypothesised that reaction time, as a measure of speed of the brain’s information-processing capacity, may be a marker for bodily system integrity.

‘This way, slower reaction times, or poorer information-processing ability, might be an indication of suboptimal physiological functioning, which may in turn be related to early death.’
Who needs the Holy Grail? I've got the reactions of a cheetah. True story.

(h/t The Huffington Post)


Matt F. said...

I don't know Drew. From your foosball game, I have to say that your reaction times might be a little lacking. Or mine are just amazingly good. Probably the latter. Looks like I can keep smoking after all.

Drew said...

What Matt F forgets to tell everyone is that he is prone to revisionist history! :-)